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Cracking the Nut 2019

Highlighted how public and private sector initiatives can be leveraged to stimulate rural and agricultural development, in a way that improves food security.

The 2019 Cracking the Nut conference took place on October 14-15, 2019 at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar, Senegal. The conference focused on balancing public concerns for food security with private, market-based solutions. Connexus partnered with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to organize this two‐day learning event, which will highlight how public and private sector initiatives can be leveraged to stimulate rural and agricultural development, in a way that improves food security.

Cracking the Nut 2019 provided a demand‐driven, collaborative learning space where participants share experiences and best practices on innovative approaches to expanding agricultural production, increasing rural incomes, and the poor’s access to nutritious food and clean water. This included methodologies, strategies, and tools; networks for partnership and coordinated collaboration; and insights into the opportunities and threats facing developing countries today.

Applying a food systems lens, this two-day learning brought together some of the world’s leading experts in rural development, sustainable agriculture, water sanitation, health, and nutrition, including representatives from the private sector, governments, donors, and development practitioners to discuss the “tough nuts” related to food security, including the themes highlighted below.

Our Themes

Reducing Systemic Risks

What mechanisms exist to stabilize commodity prices? To what extent can we reduce risks of agricultural investments with insurance, guarantees, and market information? How can blended finance be used to encourage investments in clean water, climate-smart agriculture, health and nutrition support services? What community-based approaches to rural development can improve resilience and reduce the negative impacts of a food security crisis. How can we measure vulnerability and track systemic changes?

Improving Health, Nutrition and Access to Clean Water

What is the appropriate policy response to balance competing priorities and protect access to clean water for fish, livestock, agriculture, and people? How can the public sector incentivize commercial improvements in nutrition and health? How can public-private partnerships support infrastructure development? What approaches are needed to ensure benefits flow to low-income communities, households, and individuals, including regular consumption of nutritious diets?

Increasing Inclusion in Commercial Markets

How can we entice the private sector to be more inclusive of women and youth? How do we link informal market opportunities to commercial markets? What public sector stimulus is appropriate to ensure food systems serve the last mile? In what ways do we need to adapt systems and approaches to the specific needs of high-risk populations? How can we tap the wisdom of the elderly to serve vulnerable populations? What does it take to move households beyond subsistence level farming?

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Cracking the Nut Conference
October 7-8, 2024
Conference will be held in Nigeria; registration opening soon
Cracking the Nut Conference

June 12 - 13, 2023
Conference will be held at Chemonics International Headquarters in Washington, DC
Registration Call for Proposals to Present